March 24, 2012
On the six edition of Canadian Beats: The Next Generation, I am proud to feature DJ Amarolas from my hometown of Ottawa. This 16-year-old has been producing since he was only 9 years old! I expect BIG THINGS from this young talent, so make sure you check him out! As always, if you know someone 20 years old or younger who I should feature on BEATS please hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org!!
Name: AMAROLAS (Al Itani)
Current City: Ottawa, Ont.
Style: House / Trance / Electro
Hi, my name is AMAROLAS and I’m addicted to producing EDM!
So, when did you first get in the scene?
I started to DJ around the age of 15. I’ve been producing since I was 9 years old.
Wow! That’s insane! When did you start producing tracks? What software do you use to create?
I started producing in 2005 around the age of 10. I’ve always used FL Studio. My brother and his friend would mess around with FL Studio after school sometimes. Once I decided to check it out for myself. I played around with it maybe once week, until I was 12. That’s when I really started watching tutorials and learning everything there is to know about EDM production. Now, here I am, six years later producing some quality house music using FL Studio! Recently I have been experimenting with Ableton Live and Logic Studio to broaden my skills and abilities.
Do you remember the first track that got your heart pumping?
This is a very tough one because I’ve heard so many amazing tracks during my young life, but I think the one that I remember vividly that got my heart pumping was Tiesto Ft. Maxi Jazz – Dance4Life. I heard it when I was 11 years old. It is a song recorded by Tiësto and DJ WaakopReijers, featuring vocals by Maxi Jazz of Faithless back in the summer of 2006. In May of 2006, Tiësto became the official worldwide ambassador for the dance4life foundation. The dance4life foundation is an initiative originating in the Netherlands designed to increase awareness of HIV & AIDS in secondary school-aged youth. Kofi Annan, then Secretary General of the United Nations said about the song “dance4life is a wonderful example of how the talent and strength of young people can energize our strengths.” – I agree with him 100 per cent on that!
How were you inspired to become a dj/producer?
I strive to be as creative as I can be. After discovering the beauty of the music production industry, I began to think about doing it for a living. Watching a lot of Swedish House Mafia videos gets me hungry for the big stage.
So far, what would you say is your favorite part of the industry?
My favorite part of the industry would have to be the vibe and that special connection between all dance music lovers. It amazes me how we all bond during a show, how no one knows one another but yet everyone loves each other! Another one of my favourite parts of the industry would be the openness of the members of the community. The community is very open to providing feedback and advice for upcoming artist such as myself. I love to have fun, socialize and learn from others, and the electronic music scene is the perfect place!
Describe your first experience with electronic music?
On a road trip when I was much younger, I started listening to my brother’s discman/CD player to check out the latest music he had. It was a mix CD of David Guetta, PVD, Tiesto, AVB and probably a few others. I just found myself fist bumping!
How did you come up with your alias Amarolas?
I get this one a lot! It was a username created for my all my online gaming accounts when I was in the fourth grade. Since my name is Al and it’s too short, I needed a longer name, and Amarolas was kind of etched to me.
Have you found any challenges to making it as a DJ?
Making it as a DJ, the biggest challenge to me is getting my name out. Before that it was learning how to produce and mix, and finding time to practice DJing.
What’s your all time fav ‘pump you up’ track?
Bill Conti – Going the Distance
When was your first gig?
I spun a few times at parties and events here and there, but my first notable gig was last April (2011) for my school dance. There were about 400 people. Nothing was more amazing than partying with 400 of my friends!
You started this path at such an early age, how do you think you’ve grown the most since you first started out?
I feel that my music is becoming more professional as I have properly taken the time to understand the fundamental of creating a track. Listening to something now compared to when I first started, I notice the difference and how my tracks are becoming more polished. I still have a long road but it’s nice to see the hard work paying off.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I am working persistently now, pursuing my goals in music, so that five years from today I hope to be recognized for my music not just in Canada, but on an international scale, having a single on Beatport, working with high profiled artists or evening finishing up my first tour!
Who do you look up to?
When it comes to life I look up to the elders in my family, such as my mother, father and grandparents. When it comes to music, it’s probably SHM, then Tiesto because he’s dedicated his life strictly to music. He doesn’t have a house or a car. All he owns is the two suitcases that he’s been carrying with him around the world for the last 10 years of touring.
Describe your dream gig…
At any big festival; Tomorrowland, Electric Zoo, Electric Daisy Carnival, Sensation White and of course Ultra Music Festival (spinning during Miami Music Week would be a dream by itself – the productions there are just massive!)
What can people look most forward to when you spin?
An abundance of positive energy, love and some fine house music!
If you could pick any artist to work with, who would it be and why?
I am big fan of Swedish House Mafia (I’m actually ranked as their number one fan on the SHM iPhone fan app).Working with any of those guys would be a dream come true. I love how all of their songs sound different, each a distinct style. They’re also so good at marketing their music.
How would you classify your style?
Each song that is different. I haven’t exactly grasped a style yet, I don’t think I will soon because I am experimenting with various styles to see what I naturally like.
Everyone has one, what’s your ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
FREAK by Sandy Rivera & Haze
Are your parents cool about you pursuing a career in the music industry?
As long as I get high grades, be a good kid, go to training and stay out of trouble, they’re cool with me pursuing my dreams and they’re behind me 100 per cent!
What’s your description of a DJ?
A person with vast taste in music that is able to portray it through their own medium for others to enjoy! In other words you’ve got to know how to entertain people in your own creative way.
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